Albon to take over Sargeant's car for the rest of the weekend

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Following the opening day in Melbourne, Williams have confirmed they have withdrawn Logan Sargeant from the rest of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, with his team-mate Alex Albon taking over his car.

Following the Thai driver's accident during the opening one-hour session, Williams carried out a thorough investigation to find out whether the chassis could be rebuilt for the rest of the Melbourne round.

However, the team have now confirmed that due to the extensive damage sustained, they are forced to withdraw the chassis for the remainder of the weekend. Albon's chassis will be returned to the team's HQ at Grove for repair.

Due to the fact that a third chassis is unavailable, Williams have confirmed that Albon will take over Logan Sargeant's car to compete for the remainder of the weekend in the chassis that Logan Sargeant drove in FP1 and FP2.

Expanding on the decision, Team Principal James Vowles said: “We are hugely disappointed that the damage sustained to the chassis has meant we need to withdraw it from the weekend. It's unacceptable in modern day Formula 1 not to have a spare chassis, but it is a reflection of how behind we were in the winter period and an illustration of why we need to go through significant change in order to get ourselves in a better position for the future. As a result, we have had some very difficult decisions to make this afternoon.

"While Logan should not have to suffer from a mistake that he did not make, every race counts when the midfield is tighter than ever, so we have made the call based on our best potential to score points this weekend. This decision was not made lightly, and we cannot thank Logan enough for his graceful acceptance, demonstrating his dedication to the team; he is a true team player. This will prove a tough weekend for Williams, and this situation is not one that we will put ourselves in again."

Speaking of his day, Albon added: "I have to be totally honest and say that no driver would want to give up his seat. I would never want anything like this to happen. Logan has always been a consummate professional and a team player from day one, and this won't be an easy one for him to take. At this point though, I cannot dwell on the situation and my only job now is to maximise our potential this weekend and work with the whole team to make sure we do the best job possible."

Meanwhile, Sargeant described the decision as the “hardest moment I can remember in my career”.

"This is the hardest moment I can remember in my career and it's absolutely not easy,” Sargeant added. “I am however completely here for the team and will continue to contribute in any way that I can this weekend to maximise what we can do."